Dive deep into my story and learn how I turned my High School passion into a successful career.
As a kid, I was always interested in computers. I still remember the first computer that my parents bought me – Commodore 64. I was spending long hours playing games on it but that was the extent of my experience with computers at the time.
However, in my Computer Science class of high school, my focus shifted to the web. Working on websites gave me instant gratification which helped to grow my interest into a real passion. This affection led me to major in Computer Science in college, which was the closest thing to a web education at the time.
Working on websites gave me instant gratification which helped to grow my interest into a real passion.
During my time in the college, I’ve spent countless hours experimenting and trying new things web-related. I was creating simple websites around the topics I was also interested in (movies, tv-shows, etc). None of them were released but I learned a lot during that time.
I had some opportunities to make some money out of it, by creating websites for my friends and family, but I’ve decided I’d continue to learn new stuff and further perfect the things I knew so far. This proved to be a great decision at the beginning of my career a few years later.
After I graduated from college, I decided it’s time to start looking for a proper job and take care of my finances.
Shortly after, I was working part-time at a small web agency located in Warsaw. I wasn’t ready to relocate there, so I was working remotely. This wasn’t too popular at the time so most of my friends and family had a hard time believing me that I was even working at all. The fact was that I was doing mostly custom JS and jQuery plugins which was rather boring for me.
I’ve worked few months there until I decided to look for some other adventures. I’ve been following some Australian company I liked a lot – Xfive (formerly XHTMLized) – so when I heard they’re on the lookout for some remote workers, I applied immediately. After a short call and passing the test I was hired as a Front-End Developer.
This was the beginning of a great 5-year long journey for me. I’ve learned a ton during that time, working for some big clients from USA and Australia. In 2011, I relocated to Krakow to work directly out of the XFive office.
While the job was still great and the company culture and flat structure were something I’d value a lot, I decided it’s time to finally part ways and start something on my own. That was a really tough decision for me but I was certain it’s the right thing to do.
During the time I was working full-time, I did some freelance work on the side from time to time which helped to build my client list.
After I left the company I focused on my freelance career full-time.
As of this writing, this is still my main source of income. I’m working for some great companies from Europe and USA and I couldn’t be more happy with it. I was fortunate enough to find some awesome partners that give me the freedom I wanted and the ability to fully utilize the skills I’ve learned over the years.
During my college years, I had a dream to live off only of side projects. I even used to share this dream with a close friend. We were still studying together at the time and decided, that we’re going to have a solid amount of passive income by the time we’re both 25 years old.
The due date was getting closer yet we still didn’t do any single move toward this goal. It was getting clear to us that it won’t be possible to achieve it so we decided to let go of it. But the thought was still sitting in the back of my head the whole time. I was getting back to it once in a while, sometimes even brainstorming possible passive income ideas. Some of them were pretty easy to do, but some were out-of-reach for me at the time.
Finally, I was reached by a Norwegian designer – Jan Wennesland, asking if I were available for some development work. His timing was great as I’ve just recently finished working full-time and was on the lookout for some freelance projects.
We did a couple of small dev projects together before Jan asked me if I would be interested in helping him with a side project he was thinking of. It was a WordPress theme tailored to meet the demand for curated content. I gave it some thinking and decided to give it a shot.
After few weeks of work and going over few different variants of the launch, we finally posted the project on Product Hunt for people to see. The response was tremendous. We’ve sold more than 150 themes so far which far exceeded our initial assumptions.
I’ve always liked to do things on my own terms. Even when I was working full-time at the agency, oftentimes I’d try to do things my way which sometimes led to some hard discussions with my Project Manager.
Freelance gives me the freedom to be my own boss and do things on my own schedule which is great for me. But I also like to lead people or work with others as a team. That’s why I’m thinking about starting my own web agency in the near future. The idea sits in my head for a long time now. I’ve even created a couple of company websites along the way but they’ve never seen the public eye.
Freelance gives me the freedom to be my own boss and do things in my own schedule which is great for me.
Aside from the client work and developing my passive income sources, this will be my main focus for the upcoming months.
If you want to know more about me or have any other questions, you can find me on Twitter or contact me directly.
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